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Montserrat orchid Epidendrum montserratense

Epidendrum montserratense (Montserrat orchid) is a critically endangered species found on the island of Montserrat, where much of its natural habitat has been destroyed or damaged, either by volcanic eruptions or human activity.

This orchid only occurs on Montserrat. It once grew in the Soufriere Hills but its habitat there was destroyed by pyroclastic (fast-moving current of hot gas and rock) flows from the volcano. It is now restricted to the forest of the Centre Hills. It is an epiphytic orchid - that is, it lives on tree trunks and branches without any contact with the soil but without taking nutrients from its supporting plants.

Specimens of the orchid have been retrieved from mango trees killed during the volcanic eruptions. These are now being cultivated at the island’s botanic garden which is under development with support from Kew’s horticultural team. Seeds have been taken into safe storage at Kew's Millennium Seed Bank and some are being germinated under controlled conditions in Kew's Micropropagation Unit.

You can adopt this entire species for £2,000. Your donation will used to maintain the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, ensure this species is kept safe forever in the vaults, and to collect more species in the future.

In addition to receiving your adoption pack featuring your certificate and photograph of the species (this will be posted to you, or the recipient), you will also be invited to a behind the scenes tour of the Millennium Seed Bank, at Wakehurst. You'll meet the staff and see the vaults where your species is stored.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Jill Taylor on 020 8332 3248 or j.taylor@kew.org

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